In a conversation with Gaurav Oswal Director, Kelegent he talked about their products & projects, major trends in the architectural hardware industry, and so on. Here are the excerpts…
What is the origin story of Kelegent?
We started as a small stainless steel kitchenware manufacturing company in 1984 – at the time, I don’t think any of us imagined where it would lead! I have to commend my uncle and my father for having the vision to see the future of fenestration, and the opportunity it offered and to have the agility as entrepreneurs to trust their instinct, to work hard to lead us to where we are today. Listening to our customers is the foundation of our business and it has guided us in every venture we undertake. It was the same in 2000 when we pivoted to producing sophisticated architectural hardware – in response to high demand from customers from the Middle East, Africa, and India.
Today we offer 200+ hardware product solutions (and customisation) and in the next 5 years, we will be expanding our portfolio to more than 1,000. Our customer requirement is so high that we are tripling our current production facility to accommodate the ever increasing demand.
Please speakbriefly about your products.
We specialise and customize in 3 major areas:
- Sliding Systems
- Casement Systems
- Curtain Wall-Façade Systems. Within these 3 systems, we offer Friction Stay Arms, Sliding Roller Assemblies, Locking Solutions + accessories, Casement Door Hardware, Handles, Corner Cleats, Butt Hinges & other miscellaneous accessories used in system windows/doors.
Why do your customers keep coming back to you?
We focus on 3 things, things that none of our competitors have been able to do-
- Rapid Customisation
- Flexibility in Design & development
- Customer-first Approach
Over the last 20 years we have built a vast library of universally designed & tested products, which form the basis for customisation. This library gives us the ability and the groundwork to offer a custom solution fast. Customers never face delays in their production thanks to our fast turnaround time.
Flexibility in design & development:
Thanks to our ever expanding library, we offer clients a lot of flexibility in design. We understand that our customers are also figuring out the best solution to give their customers, and we want to help them succeed. We have a simple mantra – help your customers succeed, and you will succeed.
As the 2 focus areas have pointed out – everything we do begins with the customer first.
Oh, and one more thing.
We have taken great pains to ensure complete control of the entire product life cycle right from concept design including prototyping, validation/testing and die development, all the way to production. We also have diverse in-house production facilities to help us control production lead times while ensuring high-quality output. All this guarantees a peace of mind that our customers rarely get from other manufacturers.
What do you think are the major trends in the architectural hardware industry?
The world is constantly shifting and the major trends that I can foresee are in building sleek and minimalistic designs with enhanced product capabilities and features.
Some of these are:
- Hardware for minimal/slim sliding and casement systems: Handles, multipoint locking, roller solutions, motorized controls
- High-performance sliding roller systems for heavy duty sliding doors
- Locking solutions – Gearboxes, shoot bolts, etc for multipoint locking
- Innovative Handles (Shapes and finishes)
Could you please tell us about your manufacturing facility and capacity?
Our current setup includes a stamping press shop with coil punching lines, roll forming lines, plastic injection moulding, high-pressure metal die casting, CNC machining setup, conventional machining setup, and assembly lines.
In the next 6 months, our new 60,000 sq. ft facility will be up and running in Pune, India. This will give us the ability to 5X our production capabilities considering the high export demand we are facing today. This setup will include a high-tech powder coating line in our new setup. We are also investing in 3D printing machinery and other cutting-edge design tools to help our customers get custom solutions fast.
What scope do you see in the architectural hardware industry in the Middle East?
The Middle East market is unique and demands products only of the highest standards. Currently, there is a huge demand for slim sliding DGU doors for large openings with a load capacity of more than 500 kg, this requires high-performance rollers as well as motorized opening/ closing systems. We also see a huge potential in innovative handles and locking solutions and we already are gearing up to deliver these products in the market.
How do you explain the role of Hardware and its Advances in Fenestration Systems & their Functionality?
I believe no advances in fenestration systems can be truly made unless the hardware is advanced as well. For example, with the demand for high-rise buildings and also for heavy-duty minimal systems increasing in the market, the hardware also has to evolve to live up to the aesthetics and functional requirements. In short, hardware is the basis of any fenestration system on which functionality is built.
How do you ensure the safety aspect and quality of your product?
Our products are designed and developed with a very thorough core understanding of the functional requirements of the application. The product designs and component material selections are done accordingly; then validated and tested for adherence to safety considerations.
Our in-house facility can test the load cycle endurance of sliding rollers, friction stay arms, multipoint locking & handles. We can also design any customized test setup to validate the product functionality.
Products are tested & certified by BS-EN/AAMA test standards wherever possible.
All products are well qualified for industry-level corrosion resistance standards.
What is your vision for the architectural hardware industry for 2030? What advancements do you foresee in the near future?
I see a huge demand for high-performance innovative hardware in areas of multipoint locking & sliding roller solutions, as shutters with bigger glass sizes gain more demand. Also innovative & creative handles of various shapes & finishes will be in demand.
Automation and integrated access control systems will also become an integral part in near future of the architectural hardware industry. It would also be interesting to see the use of new sustainable engineered polymers & metals in architectural hardware.
What are your goals and plans for the next 4-5 years?
We have a simple 25-year goal, which is… “1 out of every 5 hardware parts used in a window or a door anywhere in the entire world will be a Kelegent product.” Looking at the rate at which we are growing, I’m confident we will reach that goal soon.
How can people reach you?
If you are interested in talking with me directly, gaurav@ kelegent.com is the best way to reach me, if you want to know more about our products write to solutions@ kelegent.com or visit our website www.Kelegent.com